Former USC and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Rod Sherman died earlier this week on February 6 of natural causes. He was 79.
Sherman played at USC from 1964-1966 and was part of one of the most memorable touchdowns in Trojan history.
In 1964, USC faced a 17-0 halftime deficit against Notre Dame and came all the way back to win 20-17. The 15-yard, touchdown pass from Craig Fertig to Sherman on 4th down with 1:33 to play to beat undefeated and No. 1 Notre Dame. The score is still referenced as Fertig-to-Sherman and will forever live in USC football history.
It wasn’t the only big touchdown pass Sherman caught that season. Against Cal in 1964, USC was trailing 21-20 when Fertig connected with Sherman on a 22-yard touchdown pass with just 50 seconds remaining to cap a 95-yard touchdown drive.
Sherman led the 1964 Trojans with 24 catches for 446 yards and five touchdowns.
He was named a team captain in 1966 and named an All-Pac-8 selection that year before being seleted in both the NFL and AFL drafts in 1967. Sherman played for the Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals of the AFL, as well as the Raiders, Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams of the NFL in his professional career. He finished his NFL career with 105 receptions for 1,576 yards and five touchdowns.
Sherman was elected to the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018. He is also a member of the Community College Sports Hall of Fame, having run track and field at Pasadena City College in 1963, before enrolling at USC.
Sherman is survived by his son, Eric, daughter, Cindi, and 4 stepsons, Ronnie, Michael, Aaron and RJ.
Memorial service details are pending.